Technical interview questions

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Table of contents


SQL

Suppose we have the following schema with two tables: Ads and Events

Write SQL queries to extract the following information:

1) The number of active ads.

SELECT count(*) FROM Ads WHERE status = 'active';


2) All active campaigns. A campaign is active if there’s at least one active ad.

SELECT DISTINCT a.campaign_id
FROM Ads AS a
WHERE a.status = 'active';


3) The number of active campaigns.

SELECT COUNT(DISTINCT a.campaign_id)
FROM Ads AS a
WHERE a.status = 'active';


4) The number of events per each ad — broken down by event type.

SELECT a.ad_id, e.event_type, count(*) as "count"
FROM Ads AS a
  JOIN Events AS e
      ON a.ad_id = e.ad_id
GROUP BY a.ad_id, e.event_type
ORDER BY a.ad_id, "count" DESC;


5) The number of events over the last week per each active ad — broken down by event type and date (most recent first).

SELECT a.ad_id, e.event_type, e.date, count(*) as "count"
FROM Ads AS a
  JOIN Events AS e
      ON a.ad_id = e.ad_id
WHERE a.status = 'active'
   AND e.date >= DATEADD(week, DATEDIFF(week,0,GETDATE()),-1)
GROUP BY a.ad_id, e.event_type, e.date
ORDER BY e.date ASC, "count" DESC;


6) The number of events per campaign — by event type.

SELECT a.campaign_id, e.event_type, count(*)
FROM Ads AS a
  INNER JOIN Events AS e
    ON a.ad_id = e.ad_id
GROUP BY a.campaign_id, e.event_type
ORDER BY a.campaign_id;


7) The number of events over the last week per each campaign — broken down by date (most recent first).

-- for Postgres

SELECT a.campaign_id, e.event_type, e.date, count(*)
FROM Ads AS a
  INNER JOIN Events AS e
    ON a.ad_id = e.ad_id
WHERE (current_date > e.date)
  AND (current_date - e.date <= 7)
GROUP BY a.campaign_id, e.event_type, e.date
ORDER BY e.date DESC;


8) CTR (click-through rate) for each ad. CTR = number of clicks / number of impressions.

-- for Postgres

SELECT impressions_clicks_table.ad_id,
       (impressions_clicks_table.clicks * 100 / impressions_clicks_table.impressions)::FLOAT || '%' AS CTR
FROM
  (
  SELECT a.ad_id,
         SUM(CASE e.event_type WHEN 'impression' THEN 1 ELSE 0 END) impressions,
         SUM(CASE e.event_type WHEN 'click' THEN 1 ELSE 0 END) clicks
  FROM Ads AS a
    INNER JOIN Events AS e
      ON a.ad_id = e.ad_id
  GROUP BY a.ad_id
  ) AS impressions_clicks_table
ORDER BY impressions_clicks_table.ad_id;


9) CVR (conversion rate) for each ad. CVR = number of conversions / number of clicks.

-- for Postgres

SELECT conversions_clicks_table.ad_id,
       (conversions_clicks_table.conversions * 100 / conversions_clicks_table.clicks)::FLOAT || '%' AS CVR
FROM
  (
  SELECT a.ad_id,
         SUM(CASE e.event_type WHEN 'conversion' THEN 1 ELSE 0 END) conversions,
         SUM(CASE e.event_type WHEN 'click' THEN 1 ELSE 0 END) clicks
  FROM Ads AS a
    INNER JOIN Events AS e
      ON a.ad_id = e.ad_id
  GROUP BY a.ad_id
  ) AS conversions_clicks_table
ORDER BY conversions_clicks_table.ad_id;


10) CTR and CVR for each ad broken down by day and hour (most recent first).

-- for Postgres

SELECT conversions_clicks_table.ad_id,
       conversions_clicks_table.date,
       conversions_clicks_table.hour,
       (impressions_clicks_table.clicks * 100 / impressions_clicks_table.impressions)::FLOAT || '%' AS CTR,
       (conversions_clicks_table.conversions * 100 / conversions_clicks_table.clicks)::FLOAT || '%' AS CVR
FROM
  (
  SELECT a.ad_id, e.date, e.hour,
         SUM(CASE e.event_type WHEN 'conversion' THEN 1 ELSE 0 END) conversions,
         SUM(CASE e.event_type WHEN 'click' THEN 1 ELSE 0 END) clicks,
         SUM(CASE e.event_type WHEN 'impression' THEN 1 ELSE 0 END) impressions
  FROM Ads AS a
    INNER JOIN Events AS e
      ON a.ad_id = e.ad_id
  GROUP BY a.ad_id, e.date, e.hour
  ) AS conversions_clicks_table
ORDER BY conversions_clicks_table.ad_id, conversions_clicks_table.date, conversions_clicks_table.hour;


11) CTR for each ad broken down by source and day

-- for Postgres

SELECT conversions_clicks_table.ad_id,
       conversions_clicks_table.date,
       conversions_clicks_table.source,
       (impressions_clicks_table.clicks * 100 / impressions_clicks_table.impressions)::FLOAT || '%' AS CTR
FROM
  (
  SELECT a.ad_id, e.date, e.source,
         SUM(CASE e.event_type WHEN 'click' THEN 1 ELSE 0 END) clicks,
         SUM(CASE e.event_type WHEN 'impression' THEN 1 ELSE 0 END) impressions
  FROM Ads AS a
    INNER JOIN Events AS e
      ON a.ad_id = e.ad_id
  GROUP BY a.ad_id, e.date, e.source
  ) AS conversions_clicks_table
ORDER BY conversions_clicks_table.ad_id, conversions_clicks_table.date, conversions_clicks_table.source;


Coding (Python)

1) FizzBuzz. Print numbers from 1 to 100

Example of output: 1, 2, Fizz, 4, Buzz, Fizz, 7, 8, Fizz, Buzz, 11, Fizz, 13, 14, Fizz Buzz, 16, 17, Fizz, 19, Buzz, Fizz, 22, 23, Fizz, Buzz, 26, Fizz, 28, 29, Fizz Buzz, 31, 32, Fizz, 34, Buzz, Fizz, …

for i in range(1, 101):
    if i % 3 == 0 and i % 5 == 0:
        print('Fizz Buzz')
    elif i % 3 == 0:
        print('Fizz')
    elif i % 5 == 0:
        print('Buzz')
    else:
        print(i)


2) Factorial. Calculate a factorial of a number

def factorial(n):
    result = 1
    for i in range(2, n + 1):
        result *= i
    return result

We can also write this function using recursion:

def factorial(n: int):
    if n == 0 or n == 1:
        return 1
    else:
        return n * factorial(n - 1)


3) Mean. Compute the mean of number in a list

def mean(numbers):
    if len(numbers) > 0:
        return sum(numbers) / len(numbers)
    return float('NaN')


4) STD. Calculate the standard deviation of elements in a list.

from math import sqrt

def std_dev(numbers):
    if len(numbers) > 1:
        avg = mean(numbers)
        var = sum((i - avg) ** 2 for i in numbers) / (len(numbers) - 1)
        std = sqrt(var)
        return std
    return float('NaN')


5) RMSE. Calculate the RMSE (root mean squared error) of a model. The function takes in two lists: one with actual values, one with predictions.

import math

def rmse(y_true, y_pred):
    assert len(y_true) == len(y_pred), 'different sizes of the arguments'
    squares = sum((x - y)**2 for x, y in zip(y_true, y_pred))
    return math.sqrt(squares / len(y_true))


6) Remove duplicates. Remove duplicates in list. The list is not sorted and the order of elements from the original list should be preserved.

def remove_duplicates(lst):
    new_list = []
    mentioned_values = set()
    for elem in lst:
        if elem not in mentioned_values:
            new_list.append(elem)
            mentioned_values.add(elem)
    return new_list

# The above solution checks the values into a set and it is O(1) efficient using
# a few of lines.
# A shorter solution follows: it is O(n) but can be fine when lst has no "too
# many elements" - the quantity depends by the running box.
def remove_duplicates2(lst):
    new_list = []
    for elem in lst:
        if elem not in new_list:
            new_list.append(elem)
    return new_list


7) Count. Count how many times each element in a list occurs.

[1, 3, 2, 1, 5, 3, 5, 1, 4]

numbers = [1, 3, 2, 1, 5, 3, 5, 1, 4]
counter = dict()
for elem in numbers:
    counter[elem] = counter.get(elem, 0) + 1

or

from collections import Counter

numbers = [1, 3, 2, 1, 5, 3, 5, 1, 4]
counter = Counter(numbers)


8) Palindrome. Is string a palindrome? A palindrome is a word which reads the same backward as forwards.

def is_palindrome(s):
    return s == s[::-1]

or

def is_palindrome(s):
    for i in range(len(s) // 2):
        if s[i] != s[-i - 1]:
            return False
    return True


9) Counter. We have a list with identifiers of form “id-SITE”. Calculate how many ids we have per site.

def counter(lst):
    ans = {}
    for i in lst:
        site = i[-2:]
        ans[site] = ans.get(site, 0) + 1
    return ans


10) Top counter. We have a list with identifiers of form “id-SITE”. Show the top 3 sites. You can break ties in any way you want.

def top_counter(lst):
    site_dict = counter(lst)  # using last problem's solution
    top_keys = sorted(site_dict, reverse=True, key=site_dict.get)[:3]
    return {key: site_dict[key] for key in top_keys}


11) RLE. Implement RLE (run-length encoding): encode each character by the number of times it appears consecutively.

def rle(s):
    ans, cur, num = [], None, 0
    for i in range(len(s)):
        if i == 0:
            cur, num = s[i], 1
        elif cur != s[i]:
            ans.append((cur, num))
            cur, num = s[i], 1
        else:
            num += 1
        if i == len(s) - 1:
            ans.append((cur, num))
    return ans

Using itertools.groupby

import itertools

def rle(s):
    return [(l, len(list(g))) for l, g in itertools.groupby(s)]


12) Jaccard. Calculate the Jaccard similarity between two sets: the size of intersection divided by the size of union.

def jaccard(a, b):
    return len(a & b) / len(a | b)


13) IDF. Given a collection of already tokenized texts, calculate the IDF (inverse document frequency) of each token.

Where:

from math import log10

def idf1(docs):
    docs = [set(doc) for doc in docs]
    n_tokens = {}
    for doc in docs:
        for token in doc:
            n_tokens[token] = n_tokens.get(token, 0) + 1
    ans = {}
    for token in n_tokens:
        ans[token] = log10(len(docs) / (1 + n_tokens[token]))
    return ans
import math

def idf2(docs):
    n_docs = len(docs)

    docs = [set(doc) for doc in docs]
    all_tokens = set.union(*docs)

    idf_coefficients = {}
    for token in all_tokens:
        n_docs_w_token = sum(token in doc for doc in docs)
        idf_c = math.log10(n_docs / (1 + n_docs_w_token))
        idf_coefficients[token] = idf_c

    return idf_coefficients


14) PMI. Given a collection of already tokenized texts, find the PMI (pointwise mutual information) of each pair of tokens. Return top 10 pairs according to PMI.

PMI is used for finding collocations in text — things like “New York” or “Puerto Rico”. For two consecutive words, the PMI between them is:

The higher the PMI, the more likely these two tokens form a collection. We can estimate PMI by counting:

Where:

Answer here


Algorithmic Questions

1) Two sum. Given an array and a number N, return True if there are numbers A, B in the array such that A + B = N. Otherwise, return False.

Brute force, O(n2):

def two_sum(numbers, target):
    n = len(numbers)

    for i in range(n):
        for j in range(i + 1, n):
            if numbers[i] + numbers[j] == target:
                return True

    return False

Linear, O(n):

def two_sum(numbers, target):
    index = {num: i for (i, num) in enumerate(numbers)}

    n = len(numbers)

    for i in range(n):
        a = numbers[i]
        b = target - a

        if b in index:
            j = index[b]
            if i != j:
                return True

    return False

Using itertools.combinations

from itertools import combinations

def two_sum(numbers, target):
    for elem in combinations(numbers, 2):
        if elem[0] + elem[1] == target:
            return True
    return False


2) Fibonacci. Return the n-th Fibonacci number, which is computed using this formula:

def fibonacci1(n):
    '''naive, complexity = O(2 ** n)'''
    if n == 0 or n == 1:
        return n
    else:
        return fibonacci1(n - 1) + fibonacci1(n - 2)
def fibonacci2(n):
    '''dynamic programming, complexity = O(n)'''
    base1, base2 = 0, 1
    for i in range(n):
        base1, base2 = base2, base1 + base2
    return base1
def fibonacci3(n):
    '''matrix multiplication, complexity = O(log(n))'''
    def mx_mul(m1, m2):
        ans = [[0 for i in range(len(m2[0]))] for j in range(len(m1))]
        for i in range(len(m1)):
            for j in range(len(m2[0])):
                for k in range(len(m2)):
                    ans[i][j] += m1[i][k] * m2[k][j]
        return ans
    def pow(a, b):
        ans = [[1, 0], [0, 1]]
        while b > 0:
            if b % 2 == 1:
                ans = mx_mul(ans, a)
            a = mx_mul(a, a)
            b //= 2
        return ans
    ans = mx_mul(pow([[1, 1], [1, 0]], n), [[1], [0]])[1][0]
    return ans

Memoization with a dictionary

memo = {0: 0, 1: 1}

def fibonacci4(n):
    '''Top down + memorization (dictionary), complexity = O(n)'''
    if n not in memo:
        memo[n] = fibonacci4(n-1) + fibonacci4(n-2)
    return memo[n]

Memoization with lru_cache

from functools import lru_cache

@lru_cache()
def fibonacci4(n):
    if n == 0 or n == 1:
        return n
    return fibonacci4(n - 1) + fibonacci4(n - 2)
def fibonacci5(n):
    '''Top down + memorization (list), complexity = O(n) '''
     if n == 1:
        return 1
    dic = [-1 for i in range(n)]
    dic[0], dic[1] = 1, 2
    def helper(n, dic):
        if dic[n] < 0:
            dic[n] = helper(n-1, dic) + helper(n-2, dic)
        return dic[n]
    return helper(n-1, dic)


3) Most frequent outcome. We have two dice of different sizes (D1 and D2). We roll them and sum their face values. What are the most probable outcomes?

def most_frequent_outcome(d1, d2):
    len_ans = abs(d1 - d2) + 1
    mi = min(d1, d2)
    ans = [mi + i for i in range(1, len_ans + 1)]
    return ans


4) Reverse a linked list. Write a function for reversing a linked list.

def reverse_ll(head):
    if head.next is not None:
        last = None
        point = head
        while point is not None:
            point.next, point, last = last, point.next, point


5) Flip a binary tree. Write a function for rotating a binary tree.

def flip_bt(head):
    if head is not None:
        head.left, head.right = head.right, head.left
        flip_bt(head.left)
        flip_bt(head.right)


6) Binary search. Return the index of a given number in a sorted array or -1 if it’s not there.

def binary_search(lst, num):
    left, right = -1, len(lst)
    while right - left > 1:
        mid = (left + right) // 2
        if lst[mid] >= num:
            right = mid
        else:
            left = mid
    if right < 0 or right >= len(lst) or lst[right] != num:
        return -1
    else:
        return right


7) Deduplication. Remove duplicates from a sorted array.

def deduplication1(lst):
    '''manual'''
    ans = []
    last = None
    for i in lst:
        if last != i:
            ans.append(i)
            last = i
    return ans

def deduplication2(lst):
    # order is not guaranteed unless call sorted(list(set(lst))) to sort again
    return list(set(lst))


8) Intersection. Return the intersection of two sorted arrays.

def intersection1(lst1, lst2):
    '''reserves duplicates'''
    ans = []
    p1, p2 = 0, 0
    while p1 < len(lst1) and p2 < len(lst2):
        if lst1[p1] == lst2[p2]:
            ans.append(lst1[p1])
            p1, p2 = p1 + 1, p2 + 1
        elif lst1[p1] < lst2[p2]:
            p1 += 1
        else:
            p2 += 1
    return ans

def intersection2(lst1, lst2):
    '''removes duplicates'''
    # order is not guaranteed unless call sorted(...) to sort again
    return list(set(lst1) & set(lst2))


9) Union. Return the union of two sorted arrays.

def union1(lst1, lst2):
    '''reserves duplicates'''
    ans = []
    p1, p2 = 0, 0
    while p1 < len(lst1) or p2 < len(lst2):
        if lst1[p1] == lst2[p2]:
            ans.append(lst1[p1])
            p1, p2 = p1 + 1, p2 + 1
        elif lst1[p1] < lst2[p2]:
            ans.append(lst1[p1])
            p1 += 1
        else:
            ans.append(lst2[p2])
            p2 += 1
    return ans

def union2(lst1, lst2):
    '''removes duplicates'''
    # order is not guaranteed unless call sorted(...) to sort again
    return list(set(lst1) | set(lst2))


10) Addition. Implement the addition algorithm from school. Suppose we represent numbers by a list of integers from 0 to 9:

Implement the “+” operation for this representation

def addition(lst1, lst2):
    def list_to_int(lst):
        ans, base = 0, 1
        for i in lst[::-1]:
            ans += i * base
            base *= 10
        return ans
    val = list_to_int(lst1) + list_to_int(lst2)
    ans = [int(i) for i in str(val)]
    return ans

# another solution without int() and str() should be helpful
def addition2(lst1, lst2):
    if len(lst2) == 0 or lst2 == [0]:
        return lst1[:]
    elif len(lst1) == 0:
        return lst2[:]
    # lst1, lst2 not empty
    digit1, lst1rest = lst1[-1], lst1[:-1]
    digit2, lst2rest = lst2[-1], lst2[:-1]
    digit, remainder = divmod(digit1 + digit2, 10)
    lst = addition2(
        addition2(lst1rest, [digit]),  # recursively add digit to lst1
        lst2rest)  # and then continue to add lst2
    ans = lst + [remainder]  # add the remainder as last digit
    return ans


11) Sort by custom alphabet. You’re given a list of words and an alphabet (e.g. a permutation of Latin alphabet). You need to use this alphabet to order words in the list.

Example:

Output:

def sort_by_custom_alphabet(dictionary, words):
    words = sorted(words, key = lambda word: [dictionary.index(c) for c in word])
    return words


12) Check if a tree is a binary search tree. In BST, the element in the root is:

def check_is_bst(head, min_val=None, max_val=None):
    """Check whether binary tree is binary search tree

    Aside of the obvious node.left.val <= node.val <= node.right.val have to be
    fulfilled, we also have to make sure that there is NO SINGLE leaves in the
    left part of node have more value than the current node.
    """
    check_val = True
    check_left = True
    check_right = True

    if min_val:
        check_val = check_val and (head.val >= min_val)
        min_new = min(min_val, head.val)
    else:
        min_new = head.val

    if max_val:
        check_val = check_val and (head.val <= max_val)
        max_new = max(max_val, head.val)
    else:
        max_new = head.val

    if head.left:
        check_left = check_is_bst(head.left, min_val, max_new)

    if head.right:
        check_right = check_is_bst(head.right, min_new, max_val)

    return check_val and check_left and check_right


13) Maximum Sum Contiguous Subarray. You are given an array A of length N, you have to find the largest possible sum of an Subarray, of array A.

from sys import maxsize
def max_sum_subarr(list1, size):
      """Use Kadane's Algorithm for a optimal solution
      Time Complexity: O(n)
      Desciption: Use one variable for current sum, and one for Overall sum at an index.
                  So here, the global_max will keep on updating the max sum at any index-1,
                  and curr_max will check the max value at an index.
                  And finally after iterating through the list, return the value of global_max variable which contains Maximum sum.
      """
    curr_max=list1[0]
    global_max=list1[0]
    for each in range(1, size):
        curr_max = max(list1[each], curr_max+list1[each])
        global_max = max(global_max, curr_max)
    return global_max

n = int(input())         
list1 = []
for i in range(0,n):
    num = int(input())
    list1.append(num)

print(max_sum_subarr(list1, len(list1)))